Ships. In entertainment, and especially, in fandom, we live and die by them. Which is why every Friday, we’ll be focusing on a couple, analyzing why we ship them, and overall, just proclaiming our eternal love for those couples that make us say:
I will go down with this ship.
Yesterday, one of our favorite shows returned for its mid-season premiere, and that means there are only three more episodes to go before the end. We’re talking, of course, about The Good Place. So there’s no other way to start this column, for me, than by paying tribute to a couple of cockroaches that very literally saved the human race by making each other better.
Chidi and Eleanor, or in fandom terms: Cheleanor.
IN THE BEGINNING …
Chidi and Eleanor were always destined to be together – at least, that’s what the show tried to tell us in Season 1. Except, it felt more like a plot point than a reality. Sure, they were nice to each other, and it truly felt like not just Eleanor was getting something out of their arrangement, but Chidi too. But then again, that was when we still thought these people were actually in The Good Place.
Except, then we learned the truth and bam, we got our first reboot. But nothing really changed, because Eleanor left herself a message: Find Chidi. And find Chidi she did, and with that, she figured it out once again. Because, for Eleanor, Chidi was always the key to being her best self.
You know the dreaded destiny thing? Well, Chidi and Eleanor got saddled with it because Michael thought they’d be good at torturing each other. And maybe, in some ways, they were. But they were also good at teaching each other, at making each other laugh, at complementing each other. Because, as Michael would later figure out – humans can grow, and Eleanor and Chidi grew, together.
If soulmates do exist, Michael would explain to Chidi, much much later in the show, they’re not found, they’re made. And Eleanor and Chidi are each other’s soulmates, not because the universe decided, not because some demon/angel/being made it so …but because they chose each other, made each other better, and more importantly, made each other happy.
OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN
And they didn’t do it once! Or twice. In fact, Chidi and Eleanor met and fell in love so many times, we could call them the greatest romance of our time. Reboot after reboot, despite the fact that Michael was actively working against them, these two found a way to just …make each other happy.
It wasn’t always romantic, and it didn’t need to be. It was, however, always honest, always real and always, always them. Even in The Bad Place, Chidi and Eleanor found, in each other, a safe haven from all that was going on. And if that isn’t the definition of meant to be, then I don’t know what is.
HOT DIGGITY DOG
But once they recovered their memories, there was one last hurdle for Chidi… he had to make a choice. And choices are Chidi’s weak spots, the reason why he was in the Bad Place in the first place. He could never make a choice, one way or another. At least not till Eleanor.
Of course, it wasn’t easy. Change never is. Chidi didn’t just snap his fingers and bam, decision made, so he walked towards Eleanor and kissed her. Fine, he did do the last part, but the point is …it was a journey. One that was, apparently, always meant to end with the two of them together.
And with Eleanor exclaiming “Hot Diggity Dog,” because of course she did,.
I CHOOSE YOU
Eleanor was never sure people wouldn’t leave her, so in many ways, she, like Chidi, never let herself make a choice, never allowed herself to be vulnerable. If she didn’t care, she was okay if others didn’t care, after all. Love and lose, she’d say, because she wouldn’t have been able to believe in the idea that someone could actually not just love her, but love her enough to stay.
Then Chidi came along, and just like he changed not for her, but because of her, Eleanor changed too. She learned that it was okay to trust, that it was okay to let yourself do things for others. That not everyone would betray you, not everyone would leave you.
You could choose some people, and they would choose you back.
YOU ARE THE ANSWER
Which takes us to this final moment, to the end of the journey, or the beginning of another one? One of being sure, one of knowing that the answer is …well, that there are no answers. Life can only be lived by moving forward, accompanied by the person that completes you.
Not because you’re incomplete. Not because you cannot live without them. Not because you need them, but because you choose them.
Because you want them.
Because you love them.
That is the story of Eleanor and Chidi. That is why they’re the stuff OTP dreams are made. And those are just some of the many reasons that make us say: We will go down with this ship.